I grew up with my Mom and Dad watching a lot of Westerns, and listening to a lot of what might be considered "Cowboy Music" too, as that was what they liked. Now don't get me wrong, I don't have anything against it, and it always reminds me of good memories growing up, but I took a different turn in selecting my own "heroes".
My weakness was always the bad boys. Motorcycle riding, tattoo wielding, hell raisers who were more trouble than they were worth! I blame it on Fonzie.
Nevertheless, I survived and ended up with a good mix, I guess, the best of both worlds. Mr. J is part computer nerd and part inky-rockin-convict. It works.
Just yesterday, we were sitting in a little quaint place in Hernando called "Windy City Grille" (a cool little bar and grill reminiscent of Chi-town). I got a salad called "Zorba the Greek" and added grilled shrimp for $4. I felt the bite of the economy when I received my already 7 dollar salad, and to my dismay there were only 4 shrimp (I guess they were a buck a piece, right?). Not that great-a-deal.
I digress; as Mr. J and I were sitting there at our little corner booth, the weather moved towards stormy (which always relaxes me). We began discussing some Roman and Greek Mythology. Mythology is one of Mr. J's great loves, and if you want to get him gushing over a subject just mention that or something pertaining to quantum physics or cultures and religions and he'll snag your ear for hours.
He told me some of the stories, such as Cupid and Psyche, and some stuff about Achilles, and just this and that. I enjoy him telling me the stories and the myths and legends about it all. He even touched on some of the weirdness and differences between the Norse Mythology the others. It's really cute and a bit of a turn on watching him go on in all his nerdy glory.
I guess I've come a long way from the 'Happy Daze' (sic) of the Fonz.
"HERO" as defined by Wikipedia states,
"A 'hero' (from Greek ἥρως 'hērōs'), in Greek mythology and folklore, was originally a demigod, the offspring of a mortal and a deity, their cult being one of the most distinctive features of ancient Greek religion.
Later, hero (male) and heroine (female) came to refer to characters (fictional or historical) that, in the face of danger and adversity or from a position of weakness, display courage and the will for self sacrifice – that is, heroism – for some greater good, originally of martial courage or excellence but extended to more general moral excellence.
Stories of heroism may serve as moral examples. In classical antiquity, hero cults – veneration of deified heroes such as Heracles, Perseus, and Achilles – played an important role in Ancient Greek religion. Politicians, ancient and modern, have employed hero worship for their own apotheosis (i.e., cult of personality)."
Maybe if I had to choose, I would say that my favorite mythical heroic figure would be "Robin Hood" or someone (even though he's technically more folklore), but famous archetype. I could consider him a folklore hero then I guess. He was technically, but not really, doing 'wrong', but honestly trying to help the people, the less fortunate. Now, even though I loved the story of Robin Hood and felt he's the hero, my love for bad boys found me strangely attracted to the "Sheriff" in the Kevin Costner version (which would be this guy, Alan Rickman). Yum, he was just so rotten. :)
It is great that we have all of these stories, legends and folklore to learn about and read, but it's no substitute for having real, great role models in one's life. I'm very lucky in that respect, and have been fortunate to have two of the best heroes (Mom and Dad), and a pack of other good ones, my husband and family that I love so much.
They've saved my life way more than any character from books, and I am very thankful today thinking of all that I have. Even if what I have and who I am isn't "success" by most people's standards, It's ALL mine.